Understanding stress with the help of the Electrical Industries Charity

We all experience stress at some point in our life. Stress can be related to home, work, finances or relationships and is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure.

Stress can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life. But too much stress can affect our mood, our body, and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable and affect our self-esteem.

Within the UK, 74% of people reported in 2019 they have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope and 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious. While at work, 79% commonly experience work-related stress and the electrical and energy sector is one of the most stressful industries to work within. 76% of those who seek mental health assistance from the Electrical Industries Charity are diagnosed with anxiety or depression, a lot of which is caused by stress and subsequent burnout.

Mike, an employee of the electrical wholesale sector had been working within the sector for a few years. Retailing and wholesaling can sometimes generate a culture of stress with high targets, employee competition and unsociable working hours. Mike approached the charity after struggling with workplace stress. He had been signed off from work for a prolonged period due to exhaustion and had found he was dreading his return to store. While a period off work can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered, a prolonged instance of absence can lead to more stressful thoughts and anxious behaviours. You may think colleagues have been talking badly of you, anxious of inhouse changes or worried people’s behaviour may change towards you on your return. While these thoughts are mostly irrational, they can be huge factors in return to work anxiety.

Mike had been struggling to cope inhouse with his team reduced and his workload increasing, and this had resulted in high levels of workplace stress. Mike began to work more hours to try and keep up with his workload but found his work/life balance was completely gone. Long working hours is one of the top 10 causes of workplace stress and 25% say it is one of their main stressors within the workplace.

Upon reaching out to the Electrical Industries Charity, Mike was assigned a welfare team member to discuss his case. In the first instance the Electrical Industries Charity will offer a listening ear, help to establish what support you may need and then can guide you in the right direction. The charity spoke with Mike and sourced and funded therapy sessions to help him manage his stress and resulting anxiety.

During therapy sessions Mike was taught tips to prevent and manage stress and was shown various ways to react differently to what may be stressful situations. Mike attended therapy sessions consistently and the charity kept in constant contact with Mike ensuring he was happy with his therapy and therapist. After 12 sessions Mike finished his therapy and felt he had been equipped with the necessary tools to prevent, manage and cope with workplace stress. Mike is now in a much better place since completing his therapy course and The Electrical Industries Charity have now closed his case.

If you are struggling with workplace stress, exhaustion or burnout the Electrical Industries Charity are here to support you. The charity can act as a listening ear, source counselling sessions or provide workplace liaison.

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